Sunday, January 06, 2008

Pomegranate Ginger Chicken dinner


1 Pomegranate
1 small Ginger (fresh)
2 Chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
½ cup 2 tbsp Honey
¼ cup White Wine (Pinot Grigio is my favourite for cooking)

Mixed Baby greens (spinach, fancy leaf lettuce, celery leaves, mustard spinach)
1 small lemon

1 cup Couscous
1 ¼ cup Chicken stock
1 tbsp Butter (optional)
1 tsp Tumeric
1 tsp Basil
½ cup Morel mushrooms

1 cup Carrots


If you get the mushrooms dried, get them softened and ready to use before beginning the rest. Chop them to bite sized pieces after they are softened. Set aside.

Warm about 2 tbsp water and mix in the 2 tbsp of the honey. Stir until the honey is dissolved. Squeeze half the lemon for its juice and strain. Mix the lemon juice in with the honey and water. Grate in about 1 tsp ginger. Stir. Set aside.

Seed the pomegranate. Be sure to wear something you do not mind ruining with pomegranate juice and an apron...they are messy! Once you seed it, fill the bowl holding the seeds with cold water. Stir the seeds around and the ones with pith still attached will tend to float to the top. You really want this pith gone because is has an astringent, bitter taste. Drain the seeds and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350° F(176.6° C).

Rinse baby greens and rip with your hands into a salad bowl. Squeeze half of the lemon into about a 1/2 cup of water and toss the salad with the water. Drain the salad. Set aside.

Put the stock for the couscous on to boil.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the ½ cup honey with the wine. Shred about ½ tsp ginger into the mixture and about ⅛ cup pomegranate (crush the seeds). Stir. Set aside.

Trim the chicken so there is no chicken fat. Oil down baking dish and place chicken within. Brush the chicken with the honey mix. Let cook for 10 min and flip the chicken. Brush with honey mix. Repeat until the chicken is cooked through - moist, but not dry. Generally 20 minutes works for me, but climate and elevation can change this, so just keep an eye on it.

The stock should have come to a boil by now, so put the butter, couscous, tumeric, basil and mushrooms into the water. Stir, cover and remove from the heat.

Toss the greens with the rest of the pomegranate seeds and the honey-lemon mix.

Now, I tend to quick stir fry my carrots so that they are barely heated through. I get baby carrots because I'm lazy like that. However, any carrots will work. If you choose to go with larger ones and want to boil them - you will need to start their boil about the time you mix the greens for the salad. If, however, you choose to stir fry them like I do, pull out your wok or frying pan and drizzle a little oil in it (I use garlic infused sesame, but any will work). A very, very tiny bit of oil. Toss the carrots in the pan until they are just heated through.

Remove the lid from the coucous and fluff with a fork. Place some on each plate in a small mound.

Remove the chicken from the oven and place a breast on each mound of couscous. Sprinkle some of the pomegranate seeds over for garnish.

Serve with the salad and carrots.